The Great Debate
; What is the ROI (Return on Investment) on your Social Media Marketing. Perhaps a better question is this; Are your Social Media Marketing efforts performing. I am not so convinced that businesses know as much about what piece and part of their traditional marketing approach works well, let alone what part of Social Media works. But, maybe, as with lots of things it isn't all that complicated either, tell me what you think about this; Collateral Material
Our small business, like most, require certain types of marketing material that we term as collateral material. We were running low at some properties (we have a boutique apartment property management business) on our marketing materials that we hand out to prospects when they come in looking for an apartment. It was time for some fresh changes, and we really wanted to introduce photos of real people in our models to invoke the prospects emotions, and add some fun and sense of community, as opposed to just highlighting the various apartment features. We hired a third party firm to photograph live models,
in one of our furnished apartments, with the intent on shooting scenes of folks gathering about and enjoying themselves. The photo shoot turned out really well and cost us $3,500. We had the new collateral material made for that property and it looked pretty cool. Just having people in the photos makes a significant difference, we were pretty happy. Tap Your Customer
I am not afraid to experiment with things, and neither should you be
. The more I experiment with Social Media Marketing, the more ways we are coming up with to involve our customers, in our case our residents and to Engage their Emotions. There are lots of Social Media Carpetbaggers
out there, beware. Try things yourself
, get comfortable with navigating around. Anyone who proclaims to be a Social Media Expert likely isn't, we are all experimenting, but I digress.
The live models/people in the pictures looked great, but $3,500 for one property is more than we can afford or want to spend. Time to get creative
, so I posted on the various sites we have active and regular conversation with our residents
such as facebook
, the following; "Urbane Residents
, Need a little jingle, let us photo your furnished apartment and receive $500 big ones, let us photo your apartment with YOU in it and we give you a month of Rent Free!"Compound Social Media ROI
So here is what unfolded, we had four residents sign up; all four wanted to be in the photos and brought in their friends. It was a complete hoot and everyone had a blast. We hired another one of our residents who is a very good professional photographer. He did the shoots for hardly a song and he captured some outstanding photos, not with just people, but with actual residents, who wanted to participate, wanted to be part of our promotional material and wanted to be Urbane Evangelists. We distributed the pictures to the participating residents and their friends. Compound Returns
Here is the math; we were able to shoot four properties for a little less than $3,200 of net cost. So, that is pretty easy to see the increased return, we got four times the product for less money, and better, more natural footage. And, we were paying our residents as opposed to an outside vendor, I have to believe that our retention factor increases too. But the most fascinating piece is this; we created four more Urbane Evangelists, who each brought several friends to the shoot. Those four residents and their friends are emailing their friends, with our marketing collateral, because they want to show off their apartment. What is the value of that my ROI tracking friends, it is priceless.
These stratigies will work for you too, try them and experiment!
December 25, 2008
Eric Brown has (30) years in the Multi-Family Apartment Business having built and developed over 17,000 apartment units, both market rate, luxury and tax credit apartments. Having started Urbane Apartments in 2003 after leaving a lengthy stint as a Senior Vice President at Village Green Companies, a national apartment developer, Eric decided he wanted to create wealth, and set out from Corporate America on his own and created Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, MI.